A shortlist of 10 riders and 11 horses has been put together for Olympic consideration by Team Ireland Equestrian’s eventing high performance manager Ginny Elliot.
Right now, there will be a team of at least three riders representing Ireland at London 2012, but this could to four or five on June 17, depending on whether other countries with Olympic places secured have enough sufficient eligible combinations to compete.
Elliot will nominate the combinations for selection to the Olympic Council of Ireland on July 2, following the event at Barbury Castle in Great Britain.
The shortlisted combinations are (in alphabetical order):
Aoife Clark/Master Crusoe
Capt Geoff Curran/Shanaclough Crecora and The Jump Jet
Sarah Ennis/Sugar Brown Babe
Joseph Murphy/Electric Cruise
Elizabeth Power/September Bliss
Michael Ryan/Ballylynch Adventure
Camilla Speirs/Portersize Just a Jiff
Sam Watson/Horseware Bushman
Elliot says the decision to come up with a list of 10 riders proved difficult following further strong performances at Tattersalls at the weekend.
"The reality is that all of the riders performed very well at the weekend, under real pressure, as they knew places were on the line," he said.
"The combinations I have named have all done very well and the final selection looks like it will cause me several sleepless nights but it is brilliant to have real choices," she said.
"Now that we have a team the key issue will be to select the appropriate mix of combinations to maximise our chances of winning a medal at the games.
“Obviously the number of places we end up with will be influential in devising this strategy and it will be crucial to get at least one more place and it would be great to get a full five.”
Here are the respective horses’ backgrounds:
Master Crusoe (ISH): 2001 bay gelding by Master Imp (TB) out of Slaney Cruise Diamond (ISH), by Cruising (ISH). Bred by Michael Doyle, Ballinaslaney, Oylegate, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Owner: Lily White Syndicate. Rider: Aoife Clarke (IRL)
Ravenstar (TB): 2001 bay gelding by Fourstars Allstar (TB) out of Raven Night (TB) by Mandalus (TB). Bred by Mrs J McClintock & Mrs Jean O'Brien. Owner Paul Quirke & Team Rutledge. Rider: Jayne Doherty
Shanaclough Crecora (ISH): 2002 chestnut gelding by Aldatus Z (OLD) out of Shanalough Surprise (ISH), by Rocketone (TB). Bred by John Glynn, Collingwood, Shanaclough, Crecora, Co. Limerick. Owner: Charlotte Younghusband. Rider: Frances Younghusband (IRL)
The Jump Jet (ISH): 1998 brown gelding by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of Sea Water (ISH), by Triggerero (TB). Bred by Andrew Thornton, Cruagh Lodge Stud, Killakee, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. Owner: Maurice Cassidy & Minister for Defence. Rider: Capt. Geoff Curran (IRL)
Sugar Brown Babe (ISH): 2002 bay mare by Porsch (BWP) out of Sugar Cube (ISH), by Renkum Englishman (KWPN). Owner/Bred by Miriam Cunning, Piggottstown House, Crossakiel, Kells, Co. Meath. Rider: Sarah Ennis (IRL)
Coolio (ISH): 2002 grey gelding by Ghareeb (TB) out of Beechland Lady (WNTR), by Diamond Serpent (ISH). Bred by Walter Crean, Beechlands, Ballyelland, Davidstown, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Owner: Ronnie Bartlett. Rider: Mark Kyle (IRL)
Electric Cruise (ISH): 2001 chestnut gelding by Cruising (ISH) out of Kilnamac Sally (ISH), by Clover Hill (ID C1). Bred by James J Ryan, Kilnamac East, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Owner: Kevin Monroe. Rider: Joseph Murphy (IRL)
September Bliss (TB): 2000 bay gelding by Norwich (TB) out of Down The Garden (TB) by Good Thyne (TB). Bred by Cecil McCracken. Owner Margaret & Robert Power. Rider: Elizabeth Power (IRL)
Ballylynch Adventure (ISH): 2000 chestnut gelding by Don Juan De La Bouverie (SBS) out of Stanman Girl (TB), by Standaan (TB). Bred by John B Hughes, Williamstown Stud, Clonee, Co. Meath. Owner: Carol & Tom Henry & Sheila Foley. Rider: Michael Ryan (IRL)
Portersize Just A Jiff (ISH): 2000 bay gelding by Crosskeys Rebel (CP) out of Mizen Talent (ISH), by Mizen Melody (TB). Bred by Philip GL White, Maddybenny Stud, Atlantic Road, Coleraine, Co. Derry. Owner; Bridget & Camilla Speirs. Rider: Camilla Speirs (IRL)
Horseware Bushman (ISH): 1999 bay gelding by Puissance (ISH) out of Clear Conscience (ISH), by Horos (TB). Bred by John Watson, Ballybolger House, Ballyloo, Co. Carlow. Owner: John & Julia Watson & Tom MacGuinness. Rider: Sam Watson